Associated Press of Pakistan
KARACHI: Pakistan is the 8th biggest consumer of gold in the world and annually imports 127 tonnes gold.
This was pointed out at a seminar on latest trends in jewellery hallmarking held here on Monday under the auspices of the Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company (PGJDC).
The speakers were of the view that there is no consumer satisfaction and Pakistani jewellery industry suffers from what was described as ‘unfair competition by those who sell under-carat gold and therefore sell at a lower price’.
It was pointed out that the non existence of hallmarking results in Pakistan’s increasing loss of export, self independence and less acceptability of Pakistani products both in the local and global markets.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Shahzad Alam, Project Director (PITMAEM), PCSIR said that in order to improve the quality of jewellery products, complete quality assessment and hallmarking of gold is imperative.
He informed that hallmarking refers to physically marking a piece of jewelry according to specific laws to certify the purity of metal. Hallmarks are small markings stamped on gold, silver and platinum articles.
A hallmark means that the article has been independently tested and guarantees that it confirms to all legal standards of purity (Fineness).
These tests are carried out only by an assay office. A number of successful jewelry industry in the world use hallmarking both as a marketing tool and to ensure consumer confidence, he added.
CEO PGJDC Fawad H Khan informed that the decision to develop hallmarking in Pakistan is part of national strategy submitted by SWOG and Ministry of Industry’s support.
It was aimed at helping Pakistan’s small and medium sized enterprises to reposition themselves on a more competitive footing in the domestic and global markets.
Fawad informed that as a first step towards implementation of Hallmarking in Pakistan PGJDC is working on the draft of hall marking act which is under process right now.
This will ultimately require Government of Pakistan support and approval of Hallmarking Act by the Parliament to constitute a Controlling Body whose role would be to set standards, rules and regulations under which Pakistan Hallmarking scheme would operate, Fawad added.
He said that apart from other countries of the world implementation hallmarking law in Pakistan would help country increase its export to approximately 18 signatories countries of Vienna convention.
Fawad said that the main objective is to create awareness among common people and to improve the image of our local Jewelry industry at international levels.
He informed that PGJDC is working on setting up an assaying and hallmarking system with the help of Government organizations like (PITMAEM, PCSIR Labs complex) and to develop a strong cooperation between local and international manufacturers of gold jewellery.
Speakers said that awareness creating campaign should be focused on expanding awareness amongst consumers to generate consumer demand for hallmarked jewellery from retailers. It should be the jeweller’s responsibility to educate customers, as it is done in UK, India and other successful jewellery manufacturing countries, and ensure that consumers understand the significance of hallmarking and begin to look for Hallmarked jewellery.